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Performance Picks: Clowns, Baby Jessica, Outdoor Theater

WEDNESDAY

(image via The Glove / Facebook)

Clown Night
Wednesday, September 13 at The Glove, 8 pm: $7

Clowns have been a big news item recently. Recall last year, when there were stories about creepy clowns roaming the streets and congregating by way of Facebook. In the past few months, there have been Juggalos allying with leftists and the latest film version of Stephen King’s IT. If you’re not big on Faygo or horror films but still want to get down with the clown, tonight’s the night, my friends. It’s Clown Night at The Glove, and clowns of all shapes, sizes, and sensibilities will be coming out of the woodwork to show you what they can do. Expect burlesque dancer clowns, Bushwick clowns, clown-filled cinematography by Julie Orlick, clowns in cartoons and on canvas, and much more oddity-filled merriment. Keep Reading »

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Hookup App Etiquette, QueerCom, and More Performance Picks

WEDNESDAY

(photo: Maria Baranova, via Abrons Arts Center)

Raw Bacon From Poland
Now through June 17 at Abrons Arts Center, 8 pm: $25 

I would say that most of us agree that war is bad. I would also say that most of us are able to state that opinion without having directly experienced the horrors of war ourselves. Guggenheim Fellow Christina Masciotti’s new play, currently running at Lower East Side’s Abrons Arts Center, revolves around a veteran who has been forever altered by a tour in Iraq. Through attempts to sedate his PTSD with pills, he finds himself sentenced to Brooklyn Treatment Court due to a domestic violence incident.

Theater is rarely free to attend, and often costs a pretty penny. So when the genre tells the stories of people typically cast aside by society, it can be difficult for these very people being portrayed to actually witness the work being staged. In an effort to make this play more accessible, the theater has set aside two free tickets per night specifically for veterans. Keep Reading »

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Computers Writing Poetry, Eugene O’Neill + A Light Meal, and More Performances To Gaze Upon

WEDNESDAY

Eunice Wong in MOURNING BECOMES ELECTRA. (Photo: Gaia Squarci)

Mourning Becomes Electra
April 26-May 20 at Abrons Arts Center, various times: $45-75

If short n’ sweet shows are your preferred method of entertainment, this could be quite the change of pace. The Obie-winning company Target Margin Theater will be commemorating their 25th anniversary of making work by taking on Eugene O’Neill’s 1931 work Mourning Becomes Electra, and they’re doing it in a big, big way. Or rather, a long, long way. The production runs around six hours long, but don’t expect to sit for that entire time. Mourning Becomes Electra is technically a play cycle, consisting of three plays that serve as a modern retelling of Greek tragedy The Oresteia, turned into a Freudian family melodrama set at the end of the Civil War. So, the company is dividing Abrons’s Playhouse into different sections, guiding audiences between different portions of the performance space as the play cycle progresses.

If you’re still hesitant about committing to this behemoth endeavor, know that it also includes two intermissions and “a light meal.” Everyone loves a nice meal.

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Steve Earle Gets Theatrical, Philippine Dance, and More Performance Picks

WEDNESDAY

(image via Soho Rep)

Samara
Now through May 7 at the Mezzanine Theater at A.R.T. New York Theaters, 8 pm (select times at 3 pm and 5 pm): $35+

Though this show is playing up near Hell’s Kitchen, it’s commissioned by Soho Rep, the acclaimed and boundary-pushing theater that recently left its longtime home base on Walker Street, downtown, due to conflicts regarding what the building was zoned for and what they needed to do to operate the theater. Without any sign of stopping their production output, Soho Rep and artistic director Sarah Benson have been putting up shows elsewhere in the meantime.

Samara unites two downtown theater heavy-hitters, Benson and Richard Maxwell of the New York City Players. Maxwell rarely brings outside directors on board, but has asked Benson herself to direct his latest work. They’ve assembled a cast that is diverse in gender, race, and even age, as the ensemble’s age range is 14 to 92. Notably, the cast includes singer-songwriter Steve Earle, who has a storied (and Grammy-winning) career in American roots and folk music and has penned tunes recorded by Johnny Cash, Emmylou Harris, and more. Earle has also composed music for the play, so whether you’re a fan of avant-garde theater or just good old-fashioned American grooves, you’ll probably find something to like about this show. Keep Reading »

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Bejeweled Opera, Empowering Blurred Lines, and More Performance Picks

WEDNESDAY

(image courtesy of Hallie Haas)

(image courtesy of Hallie Haas)

Masterpiece Classic: Women in Art
Wednesday, February 8 at UCB Chelsea, 8 pm: $7

It is generally agreed upon that art is Good. However, the art world is where things get a little more polarized. This new character-based show by comedian and actress Hallie Haas takes on the type of people who consider themselves high and mighty creators, the type of people who take themselves reeeeeeally seriously. The premise is that Laura Linney, of course, has gathered together seven of the most sophisticated and acclaimed women artists for an evening that feels a lot like a certain public access television show. Only probably a lot weirder. Especially considering Haas will be playing every character. This spoof on PBS classics feels especially timely, considering I just got an email asking me to sign an online petition so that Donald Trump doesn’t get rid of PBS Kids. Please, think of the children. And the art.

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Performance Picks: Colorful Comedy, Wilderness Therapy, Taboo Poets

THURSDAY

(flyer by Chandler Moses, via Facebook)

(flyer by Chandler Moses, via Facebook)

Comedy Cunt
Thursday, November 3 at Bluestockings Bookstore, 7 pm: FREE. 

Now that this show’s title has your attention, let us give you some details. Unless you don’t want them, and wish to blindly saunter into a show called “Comedy Cunt.” That’s admirable. For the rest of you, this is a recurring show, hosted by Arti Gollapudi, where marginalized individuals harness the medium of comedy to delve into their own life experiences. This time around, they’ve got Joe Castle Baker (who recently delivered perhaps the most memorable and manic riff on infomercials I’ve seen, which is impressive, as I love work about infomercials), Ayanna Dookie, Chandler Moses, Katie Fay Behrmann, Amy Zimmer, and Mamoudou N’Diaye, who used to teach science to youngsters. Plus, a “video performance” by Amanda Justice. Might I say, justice is served? Keep Reading »

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Performance Picks: Loons, Waiting For the Bathroom, Live Deterioration

(image via Tinder Live / Facebook)

(image via Tinder Live / Facebook)

WEDNESDAY

Tinder Live
Wednesday, October 15 at The Bell House, 8 pm: $15.

Lane Moore‘s celebrated show Tinder Live returns to Park Slope venue The Bell House for yet another amusing evening of dating mishaps and more. This time around, she’s joined by comedians and/or generally creative folk Josh Gondelman (Last Week Tonight), New York Times bestselling author Mychal Smith, and writer Chloe Angyal, who genuinely has a PhD in romantic comedies. Moore is quite a multitasker herself. In addition to jokin’ and hostin’ her acclaimed comedy show, she also fronts the band It Was Romance (they garnered plenty of media attention for their Fiona Apple-inspired music video for queer song “Hooking Up With Girls”) and writes for a variety of publications. But enough about all that, this evening is all about Tinder. In a good and funny way, we swear. And in a real way: there will be live swiping. Maybe one day you’ll even end up as one of the folks Moore engages with onstage. There are many routes to stardom.

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Performance Picks: Crime-Fighting Orphans, Sperm Stories, Work By Indigenous Women

WEDNESDAY

(image via Andrew Benedict)

(image via Andrew Benedict)

Orphan Action League
Continues every Wednesday through June 1 at The Annoyance Theater, 367 Bedford Ave, Williamsburg. 8:30pm. Tickets are $10. More info here
An eccentric orphaned millionaire who found success in a children’s book series about orphan children has now taken his fictional dreams into the real world with a hand-selected group of crime-fighting orphans called, fittingly, the Orphan Action League. Follow their adventures (including some neat choreographed fight scenes and a fully-produced original theme song) weekly at The Annoyance with this show by Andrew Benedict, directed by Annie Donley. There may be no parents, but there will certainly be chuckles n’ thrills.

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Performance: Future in Puppetry, Internet in 1991, and Some Stuff in Between

(photo: Maria Baranova)

(photo: Maria Baranova)

WEDNESDAY

Steve of Tomorrow
Continues through March 19 at HERE Arts Center, 145 6th Ave., Tribeca. 7pm; tickets are $20. More info here. 
Steve of Tomorrow is a multimedia work of puppetry following a sci-fi fan who makes a blog post inviting any time travelers to greet him with their presence, but the only one to come by is lazy and not at all what he’d hope the progressive future to be. This piece questions technological advancement while utilizing the latest in video puppetry, created in the signature style of David Commander’s Toy Theater. Regardless of your feelings on tech or the capabilities of future-folk, it’s sure to be pretty cool.

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4 Performance Picks: Loft Opera, Brothels, And Hospitals

LoftOpera's "The Rape of Lucretia." (photo: Robert Altman)

LoftOpera’s “The Rape of Lucretia.” (photo: Robert Altman)

THURSDAY

LoftOpera’s Tosca
Continues through March 19 at 198 Randolph Street, Bushwick. Tickets are $30. More info here
If you think opera sounds stuffy and expensive, think again. At LoftOpera, which is pretty much exactly what it sounds like, you don’t even have to leave Brooklyn to get your fill of classic operatic scores, solid performances, and also, beer. The LoftOpera folks have garnered much praise for their past productions, and their Tosca is sure to be of similar quality. Come and experience all the nostalgia of a loft party, but with all the culture of opera.

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5 Performance Picks: Corey Haim, Mary Shelley, and ‘Bad Theater’

clarebarron

(photo via The Bushwick Starr)

THURSDAY

I’ll Never Love Again
Continues through March 19 at The Bushwick Starr, 207 Starr Street, Bushwick. Wednesdays through Saturdays at 8pm. Tickets are $18 and can be purchased here. More info herePlaywright and actress Clare Barron premieres a new work at the Bushwick Starr exploring the formative teenage events of first love and first heartbreak, constructed from her actual teenage diary. The piece is brought to life chorus-style by a group of celebrated performers, and features original music. Barron has recently won awards for playwriting, and from what I’ve read of hers in the past, her work is soft and strange, relatable but very specific. This show is sure to carry the same satisfying flavors.
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Performance Picks: Hitler’s Dog, Burlesque, and Three Festivals

This week and next: more performance festivals than you ever knew could happen at the same time. And plenty more to choose from.

FESTIVALS

(image via ps122.org)

(image via ps122.org)

PS122’s COIL Festival
Through Jan. 17, various times and various venues. Full programming, schedule, and tickets hereThey may not have moved into their renovated East Village space yet, but that’s not stopping Performance Space 122 from presenting their contribution to APAP, the COIL Festival. Exploring the theme of transformation, they’ve hunkered down in venues all over, including La MaMa and Paradise Factory in the East Village and New Ohio Theater in the West Village. Offerings include Annie Dorsen’s live musical piece utilizing algorithms to slowly transform The Beatles’s Yesterday into Tomorrow (from the musical Annie) and Frank Boyd and the TEAM’s one-man live jazz radio show.

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